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International Christian Concern (ICC) 06/23/2008

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The following letter is in response to the article "Turkish Pastor Facing Jail on False Charge"

The following letter is in response to the article "Turkish Pastor Facing Jail on False Charge". We would like to express our dismay toward the unjustified arrest and persecution of Pastor Orhan Picaklar, although we are not entirely surprised considering the history of genocide directed against Christians by the rulers of

both the Ottoman Empire and the successor Nationalist State which emerged following the collapse of that murderous Empire. Greek Orthodox, Armenian, and Assyrian Christians have been warning the West for many decades about the war on Christianity that has been waged by the Turkish paramilitary State.

These different communities have been grieving their dead for nearly a century, with very little acknowledgement of the Genocides emanating from Western governments and no expression of remorse whatsoever expressed by the officials of the Turkish government. On the contrary, Western officials have worked very hard to protect the Turkish government from any external sanctions that have been applied in the past to other State sponsors of terrorism and Genocide. At present the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I faces harassment, in addition to various assasination attempts by Turkish fundamentalists.

In the Turkish occupied territories, over 200,000 Greek Orthodox Christians have been ethnically cleansed by the Turkish military and over 500 Greek and Armenian Churches and Monasteries have been destroyed. The various Christian communities in Turkey must work together in a common effort to survive and to inform the world of the past horrors and present persecution directed against Christians by the Turkish authorities.

Theodore G. Karakostas This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Member of HEC Executive Committee

www.greece.org

www.greece.org/genocide

Turkish Pastor Facing Jail on False Charges

Growning Trend Targeting Christians Contradicts Turkey's Moderate Image

The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) www.persecution.org has just learned that a pastor in Samsun, Turkey has been falsely charged with three serious crimes and has been required to appear at an urgent trial.Pastor Orhan Piçaklar found a notice at his church from the public prosecutor on Sunday, June 15, notifying him that he was a suspect in a court case and requiring him to come immediately to give testimony.He did so, and when he arrived at the public prosecutor's office, he discovered that the accusation against him had been hand-written and included a false identity number. He then asked the prosecutor why he had opened a case on this basis, and the prosecutor said, "Because there are crazy people around." This vague remark probably means that the prosecutor is trying to save his own skin from Muslim radicals who would target him if he was seen to be "soft" on Christians.Apparently the anonymous accuser had also taken pictures of activities at Piçaklar's church with a hidden ca! mera. Th e pictures were of a baptism and a wedding blessing ceremony. The charges against him, which are serious crimes in Turkey, were:1. Insulting the prophet of Islam, Mohammed

2. Insulting the police

3. Performing a marriage ceremony in the churchPiçaklar denies all three charges, stating that he has never insulted anyone because the New Testament commands Christians to respect all people. In addition, he says that he had not performed a marriage ceremony, and that the pictures were of a celebration and blessing of a couple who were already married.He could receive jail time for these charges, but does not know how much time the prosecutor is asking for him to serve. Piçaklar said, "I am not afraid as for the Lord in everything I can do everything. But please pray for my family because they will be in desperate straits if anything happens to me. I believe the Lord will not allow them to be left alone. Because the Lord here is daily growing His church, Satan is restless and creating problems."International Christian Concern

www.persecution.org

 

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Last updated: 6 August 2008

 
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